The Water you Drink is 4.5 Billion Years Old, Scientists Reveal. The origin of Earth’s water has been an enduring mystery. There are different hypotheses and theories explaining how the water got here, and lots of evidence supporting them.
A research article in Elements shows that other young solar systems have abundant water. In solar systems like ours, water is along for the ride as the young star grows and planets form. The evidence is in Earth’s heavy water content, and it shows that our planet’s water is 4.5 billion years old.
The article is “We Drink Good 4.5-Billion-Year-Old Water,” and the authors are Cecilia Ceccarelli and Fujun Du. Ceccarelli is an Italian astronomer at the Institute for Planetary Sciences and Astrophysics in Grenoble, France. Du is an astronomer at the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing, China.
The formation of a solar system starts with a giant molecular cloud. The cloud is mostly hydrogen, water’s main component. Next are helium, oxygen, and carbon, in order of abundance. The cloud also contains tiny grains of silicate dust and carbonaceous dust.
The research article takes us through the history of water in our solar system, and this is where it starts.
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